LHENA Elections

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Nathan
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LHENA Elections

Postby Nathan » April 14th, 2015, 4:49 pm

Hey Ya'll!!!

Lowry Hill East is having it's annual election meeting next week. IF you live in that neighborhood, it would be awesome to see you there and voting. The board definitely mis-represents the neighborhood and it's residents. I will be one of the candidates... SO!!! come vote! :) You'll need your ID and a bill that has your address kind of like normal voting. it's at the Jefferson Elementary School.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1631858350382376/

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 14th, 2015, 9:28 pm

Just curious, in what way do you feal the board as a whole "misrepresents" the neighborhood? I understand some individual members are rather disliked here but what is it about "the board" particularly?

If it's a renter/homeowner thing, sure, I'd like to see more renters. But there are in fact renters on the board.

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Nathan
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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby Nathan » April 15th, 2015, 6:29 am

David Greene wrote:Just curious, in what way do you feal the board as a whole "misrepresents" the neighborhood? I understand some individual members are rather disliked here but what is it about "the board" particularly?

If it's a renter/homeowner thing, sure, I'd like to see more renters. But there are in fact renters on the board.
That's the primary misrepresentation, yes. There is in fact only one renter on a board of a neighborhood who's population is over 80 percent renters. But I feel like a lot of the board members don't engage with that population. When you go to meetings there are a few voices of reason, but most of their neighborhood are not the people who are able to attend the meetings.

When I discuss things like development and infrastructure with my peers in the neighborhood they are engaged and interested and see the logic in high density use near transit, etc. I just feel like the board is nearly as diverse in age or background as the neighborhood is.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby clf » April 15th, 2015, 9:46 am

As a renter in the neighborhood I would have to disagree with you. Many people on the board have reached out to me and others in my apartment building.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2015, 2:29 pm

Yeah, as someone who used to sit on the NRP committee, I will relate that we spent A LOT of time figuring out how to engage renters. It's really hard because flyers, etc. are verboten as is systematic buzzing of apartments. You basically need an insider in the building to spread the word. That's the primary reason I'd like to see more renters on the board.

I run into similar problems getting the word out about NNO. It's just really hard to reach renters because you can't just ring a doorbell or put something in the door/mail slot.

There used to be two renters on the board but one moved out of the city. :(

I'd love to see a rethinking of how we do elections. Harrison has a district-based setup, ensuring broad representation from the neighborhood. LHENA could do something similar and it doesn't have to be based on geography (though I think that would be desirable to an extent). There are so many things I would like to change about our governance. Unfortunately, I don't have the bandwidth to serve on the board but I do want to talk to board members about ideas. We need much more interactive meetings generally. The annual meeting is always a "talk at" event rather than a "converse with" event.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby FISHMANPET » April 15th, 2015, 3:01 pm

Maybe at some point we need to step back and say that having 81 neighborhoods with many of them having their own boards (according to this there are 67 NRP neighborhood plans so 67 boards?) is just too much (quasi) government. The thing with putting up fliers and such in apartments sucks, but the complaint itself is built on the idea the system we have now is basically correct. While I'm sure some would say that the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a feature, not a bug, maybe the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a sign that the system isn't really serving the citzens as it stands.

I also think some of the borders are weird. The Hiawatha-Lake Intersection is the problem of 4 different neighborhoods. If you cross Lake St you're going from one neighborhood to the other. With development seeming to be a pretty big topic of most of these organizations, at least in areas that are active and growing, it's kind of silly to have opposite sides of a major commercial corridor be "governed" by different orgs.

Someone from Corcoran emailed me wanting to meet up for coffee. He was door knocking before the meeting for the big project on the MPS property, and must have seen my name on the sign in sheet and remembered that I'd talked about being interested in development stuff. So maybe the secret is to plant UrbanMSP renters in each neighborhood?

On a larger point, being active in a community is hard. Maybe it's time to disrupt the whole notion that we gather people into a large room once or twice a month to listen to a few people talk for an hour and then maybe say some things yourself as a way for a community to come together and make decisions.

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Nathan
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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby Nathan » April 15th, 2015, 3:37 pm

clf wrote:As a renter in the neighborhood I would have to disagree with you. Many people on the board have reached out to me and others in my apartment building.
I rented for 4 years in the neighborhood and went to meetings and never once was contacted outside of when I made effort.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby PhilmerPhil » April 15th, 2015, 3:45 pm

John Edwards aka johneapolis aka WedgeLIVE aka X number of social media parody accounts announced that he's running.

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Nick
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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby Nick » April 15th, 2015, 3:53 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Maybe at some point we need to step back and say that having 81 neighborhoods with many of them having their own boards (according to this there are 67 NRP neighborhood plans so 67 boards?) is just too much (quasi) government. The thing with putting up fliers and such in apartments sucks, but the complaint itself is built on the idea the system we have now is basically correct. While I'm sure some would say that the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a feature, not a bug, maybe the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a sign that the system isn't really serving the citzens as it stands.

I also think some of the borders are weird. The Hiawatha-Lake Intersection is the problem of 4 different neighborhoods. If you cross Lake St you're going from one neighborhood to the other. With development seeming to be a pretty big topic of most of these organizations, at least in areas that are active and growing, it's kind of silly to have opposite sides of a major commercial corridor be "governed" by different orgs.

Someone from Corcoran emailed me wanting to meet up for coffee. He was door knocking before the meeting for the big project on the MPS property, and must have seen my name on the sign in sheet and remembered that I'd talked about being interested in development stuff. So maybe the secret is to plant UrbanMSP renters in each neighborhood?

On a larger point, being active in a community is hard. Maybe it's time to disrupt the whole notion that we gather people into a large room once or twice a month to listen to a few people talk for an hour and then maybe say some things yourself as a way for a community to come together and make decisions.


Maybe not the time or place or thread for a drawn out debate over it, but lately I'm thinking there may be some merit to having neighborhood associations abandon the pretense that they "represent the neighborhood" and just think of them as homeowners associations or social groups or something.

Do any of you really think any amount of attention/funding is going to lead to equal participation?

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby grant1simons2 » April 15th, 2015, 3:55 pm

Oh now I know his name so I can follow him on my parody account

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Nathan
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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby Nathan » April 15th, 2015, 4:47 pm

Just to be clear, this is tonight for those of you who can make it and hopefully get a little positive urban energy going!

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby johneapolis » April 15th, 2015, 4:47 pm

Nathan wrote: Lowry Hill East is having it's annual election meeting next week.
It's tonight! Not next week. Free pizza will be cold by then. Starts at 6 PM in the Jefferson School cafeteria. I'd recommend you show up no later than 730. Voting is at 8.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2015, 9:39 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:While I'm sure some would say that the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a feature, not a bug, maybe the fact that renters don't want to be involved is a sign that the system isn't really serving the citzens as it stands.
I don't see it is a problem of renters not wanting to be involved but rather landlords and the city not providing a way to make it easier for renters to engage.
FISHMANPET wrote:On a larger point, being active in a community is hard. Maybe it's time to disrupt the whole notion that we gather people into a large room once or twice a month to listen to a few people talk for an hour and then maybe say some things yourself as a way for a community to come together and make decisions.
It's definitely worth thinking about alternative ways to act as community. I don't really know of any other good way to foster relationships than to meet face-to-face and that should happen regularly, not once a year. Most neighborhood meetings I've been to are extremely poorly run. At the minimum board members should have training about how to conduct effective meetings, including proper engagement/conversation and motivating action. Harrison puts on some great community meetings. Not coincidentally, they have organizers with such training.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2015, 9:43 pm

Nathan wrote:
clf wrote:As a renter in the neighborhood I would have to disagree with you. Many people on the board have reached out to me and others in my apartment building.
I rented for 4 years in the neighborhood and went to meetings and never once was contacted outside of when I made effort.
And neither are homeowners. The problem is deeper than renters vs. owners. The problem is one of engagement and follow-up to retain interest. A large number of people sitting on the board don't have the energy/resources to do the work of engagement or much of anything at all other than vote on things. This has been a problem for a long time. Lack of full-time staff is an equally big problem. Few people on the board understand the value of and need for properly trained full-time staff.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2015, 9:48 pm

Nick wrote:Do any of you really think any amount of attention/funding is going to lead to equal participation?
The neighborhood is represented by those who show up. If people don't think the board is representing them well it's up to those people to organize and get people to the meetings and elections. "Equal" participation isn't the goal. Good representation and effective action are the goals.

Funding matters in a few areas: staff, supplies for organizing and funds for neighborhood projects among other things. It doesn't fill the engagement need. No amount of money will help if the organization isn't committed to growig participation and residents aren't committed to participating.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 15th, 2015, 9:50 pm

What are the election results? I had to leave shortly after the voting to get Julian to bed.

I complained bitterly to the meeting organizers that conducting the nominations and voting after 8pm is not reasonable for parents of young children. My neighbor who has two kids had to leave during the nomination process and didn't get to vote. One of his kids was just totally finished.

Julian was getting pretty antsy too and had we had fewer open board positions, I probably would have left before voting.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby FISHMANPET » April 15th, 2015, 11:39 pm

Face to face is good but why is voting in person? I can do a million things online why can't I vote for board members online.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2015, 1:14 am

FISHMANPET wrote:Face to face is good but why is voting in person? I can do a million things online why can't I vote for board members online.
I could get beinhd that. But voting is way over-emphasized in our society. There's a lot more to do than simply vote.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby twincitizen » April 16th, 2015, 6:25 am

The voting 2 hours into the meeting thing is really absurd. Even Whittier doesn't go that far.

The on-the-floor nomination thing is a bit questionable too. Again, even Whittier has people "file" for election a couple weeks in advance and have them submit a short candidate bio which is posted online in advance of the meeting.

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Re: LHENA Elections

Postby David Greene » April 16th, 2015, 11:14 am

twincitizen wrote:The on-the-floor nomination thing is a bit questionable too. Again, even Whittier has people "file" for election a couple weeks in advance and have them submit a short candidate bio which is posted online in advance of the meeting.
Yeah, that's definitely a better way to do it. It makes people consider their run and not just pop in on a whim. I always get the sense that at least a few candidates for LEHNA board make a snap decision to run without really considering the time investment it takes to serve. That's how we get overstretched people on the board.

Some observations from last night:

The call for candidates to declare "renter" or "owner" was not only absurd, it was downright disgusting.

Many candidates did so anyway and I downgraded those candidates in my evaluation a bit though I did vote for some of them.

One candidate had the most ridiculous campaign speech ever. She killed her own chances with the victim mentality on display. I do like her as a person and as a neighborhood activist even though I strongly disagree with her on some things.

Another candidate was almost as bad but seemed so focused on parochial interest that I didn't think she would be an effective board member in any "direction."

Initially there was only one candidate for the one-year term. After this became clear, anther candidate suddenly declared he was running for that seat and claimed the registrar hadn't heard him declare that earlier. Very suspicious and borderline slimy.

That said, I would have preferred we just vote for a slate of candidates and have the winners hash out who gets the one-year term. That was brought up and apparently the board decided against that earlier. It wasn't clear why.

LHENA and John report that the winners were:

Katie Schmitt
Beth Harrington
Sara Romanishan
Paul Ryan
Michael Friedman
Frank Brown
John Edwards

I think that's actually a pretty decent result.


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